Windows Web Watchdog

Also Known As: Windows Web WatchDog scam
Distribution: Low
Damage level: High

Windows Web Watchdog removal instructions

What is Web Watchdog?

Windows Web Watchdog is a fake antivirus program, which reports non existent security infections to scare PC users into believing that their operating systems are infected with high-risk malware. This rogue software was created by cyber criminals who distribute it via hacked websites and fake online security warning messages. Commonly, cyber criminals use fake Microsoft Security Essentials alert messages to trick PC users into installing Windows Web Watchdog on their computers. After successful infiltration, this bogus program modifies the registry entries of an affected operating system by blocking execution of installed programs (including Internet browsers) and disabling the Task Manager.

Windows Web Watchdog scam

Furthermore, this fake antivirus program configures itself to start automatically on each system Startup. The behavior of Windows Web Watchdog is similar to ransomware infections, since it prevents users from accessing their desktop until payment for a 'license key' is received. PC users should be aware that paying for 'ultimate protection' (the 'full version') of this program is equivalent to sending their money to cyber criminals - they will lose their money and their credit card information made available for further thefts. Windows Web Watchdog is a scam - do not trust this program or buy the 'full version'.

Windows Web Watchdog originates from a family of fake antivirus programs called FakeVimes. Another, previous variant was named Windows Antibreach Patrol. Cyber criminals responsible for releasing rogue antivirus programs from this family, maintain identical behavior and user interfaces, changing only the name of each fake security scanner variant. To avoid installation of these bogus antivirus programs, do not trust online security warning messages indicating 'detected' security infections and offering installation of antivirus programs. Keep your operating system and installed software up-to-date and use legitimate antivirus and anti-spyware programs. PC users who observe Windows Web Watchdog scanning their computers for security infections, should use this removal guide to eliminate this rogue antivirus program from their operating systems.

Screenshot of Windows Web Watchdog blocking execution of Internet browsers:

Windows Web Watchdog blocking execution of installed software

Screenshot of Windows Web Watchdog demanding payment of $99.9 for the 'full version':

Windows Web Watchdog rogue payment page

How does Windows Web Watchdog infect user's computer?

This fake antivirus program infiltrates operating systems using fake online security warning messages. When landing on a malicious or hacked website, users are presented with the fake Microsoft Antivirus message: "Message from webpage - Microsoft Antivirus has found critical process activity on your PC. You need to clean your computer to prevent the system breakage".

Fake Microsoft Antivirus pop-up

In the second step of this scam, users are presented with another fake message supposedly dereived from Microsoft Security Essentials: "Microsoft Security Essentials Alert. Microsoft Security Essentials detected potential threats that might compromise your privacy or damage your computer. You need to clean your computer immediately to prevent the system crash".

Fake Microsoft Security Essentials pop-up

Clicking the "Clean computer" button downloads Windows Web Watchdog on the victim's computer.

windows web watchdog infecting user's computer

PC users who already observe Windows Web Watchdog scanning their computers for security infections, should use this removal guide to eliminate this fake antivirus program from their computers.

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Quick menu:

Windows Web Watchdog removal:

Complete these steps to access your desktop:

1. Wait until Windows Web Watchdog completes the fake security scan and click "Settings" (at the top of the main window).

windows web watchdog settings

2. Select "Allow unprotected Startup".

windows web watchdog unprotected startup

3. After selecting "Allow unprotected Startup", close Windows Web Watchdog.

4. Access "Computer". Double click the "Computer" icon.

Accessing

5. Navigate to C:\Users\[YOUR USER NAME]\AppData\Roaming

Accessing appdata roaming folder

6. Locate a file named "svc-[random letters].exe" and click your right mouse button over this file.

renaming the executable file of Windows Web Watchdog step 1

7. In the opened menu, select "Rename". Change the filename of "svc-[random letters].exe" to "fake.exe".

renaming the executable file of Windows Web Watchdog step 2

8. After renaming the "svc-[random letters].exe" file, restart your computer. Next time the operating system boots, Windows Web Watchdog will be inactive and will not block access to the Internet.

6. Download legitimate anti-spyware software to completely remove this rogue antivirus program from your computer.

If you cannot download or run the spyware remover try running the registry fix (link below). It enables execution of programs. Download the registryfix.reg file, double click it, click YES and then OK.

Windows Web Watchdog removal using a registry key:

1. Click the question mark icon (at the top of the main window of Windows Web Watchdog) and select "Register".

Removing Windows Web Watchdog using registration key step 1

2. In the opened window enter this registry key: 0W000-000B0-00T00-E0021

Removing Windows Web Watchdog using registration key step 2

3. After entering this registry key, Windows Web Watchdog imitates the removal of previously 'detected' security threats and allows execution of installed programs. Note that entering this registration key will not remove this rogue antivirus program - it simply makes the removal process less complicated.

Removing Windows Web Watchdog using registration key step 3

4. Download legitimate anti-spyware software to completely remove Windows Web Watchdog from your computer.

Windows Web Watchdog removal using Safe Mode with Networking:

Step 1

Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer starting process press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Starting Windows in Safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Video showing how to start Windows XP in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Step 2

Remove proxy settings from Internet Explorer. This rogue antivirus program adds a proxy to the user's Internet connection settings to display various errors when the user attempts to access the Internet. To remove proxy settings: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. In the opened menu, select "Internet Options".

Removing proxy setings from Intenret Explorer step 1

In the opened window, select the "Connections" tab.

Removing proxy settings from Internet Explorer step 2

In the "Connections" tab, click on "LAN settings".

Removing proxy settings from Internet Explorer step 3

If "Use a proxy server for your LAN" is checked, uncheck it and click OK.

Removing proxy settings from Internet Explorer step 4

Step 3

Download legitimate anti-spyware software to completely remove this fake antivirus program from your computer.

Step 4

After removing this rogue software, reset your Hosts file. Do not skip this step since Windows Web Watchdog modifies your Hosts file, and you will encounter browser redirect problems unless malicious entries are eliminated.

The Hosts file is used to resolve canonical names of websites to IP addresses. When it is changed, the user may be redirected to malicious sites, despite seeing legitimate URLs in address bar. It is difficult to determine sites are genuine when the Hosts file is modified. To fix this, please download the Microsoft Fix It tool, which restores your Hosts file to the Windows default. Run this tool when downloaded and follow the on-screen instructions. Download link below:

Other tools known to remove Windows Web Watchdog:

Summary:

The fake antivirus programs (also known as "rogue antivirus programs" or "scareware") are applications that tries to lure computer users into paying for their non-existent full versions to remove the supposedly detected security infections (although the computer is actually clean). These bogus programs are created by cyber criminals who design them to look as legitimate antivirus software. Most commonly rogue antivirus programs infiltrate user's computer using poop-up windows or alerts which appear when users surf the Internet. These deceptive messages trick users into downloading a rogue antivirus program on their computers. Other known tactics used to spread scareware include exploit kits, infected email messages, online ad networks, drive-by downloads, or even direct calls to user's offering free support.

A computer that is infected with a fake antivirus program might also have other malware installed on it as rogue antivirus programs often are bundled with Trojans and exploit kits. Noteworthy that additional malware that infiltrates user's operating system remains on victim's computer regardless of whether a payment for a non-existent full version of a fake antivirus program is made. Here are some examples of fake security warning messages that are used in fake antivirus distribution:

Fake pop-up used in rogue antivirus distribution example 1

Fake pop-up used in rogue antivirus distribution example 2

Computer users who are dealing with a rogue security software shouldn't buy it's full version. By paying for a license key of a fake antivirus program users would send their money and banking information to cyber criminals. Users who have already entered their credit card number (or other sensitive information) when asked by such bogus software should inform their credit card company that they have been tricked into buying a rogue security software. Screenshot of a web page used to lure computer users into paying for a non-existent full version of windows web watchdog scam and other rogue antivirus programs:

example of a webpage used to collect payments for fake antivirus programs

To protect your computer from windows web watchdog scam and other rogue antivirus programs users should:

  • Keep their operating system and all of the installed programs up-to-date.
  • Use legitimate antivirus and anti-spyware programs.
  • Use caution when clicking on links in social networking websites and email messages.
  • Don't trust online pop-up messages which state that your computer is infected and offers you to download security software.

Symptoms indicating that your operating system is infected with a fake antivirus program:

  • Intrusive security warning pop-up messages.
  • Alerts asking to upgrade to a paid version of a program to remove the supposedly detected malware.
  • Slow computer performance.
  • Disabled Windows updates.
  • Blocked Task Manager.
  • Blocked Internet browsers or inability to visit legitimate antivirus vendor websites.

If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove windows web watchdog scam from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware removal forum.

If you have additional information on windows web watchdog scam or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

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Windows Web WatchDog scam QR code
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